Earlier this month the Law Commission of Ontario released an Interim Report and Draft Framework for public feedback for the law as it effects older adults.
The Framework professes to assist in evaluating new or existing laws, policies and practices to ensure that the circumstances and experiences of older adults are taken into account.
Developed for use by:
- Policy-makers and legislators;
- Advocacy organizations and community groups that deal with issues affecting older adults; and
- Public or private actors that develop or administer policies or programs that affect older adults;
the Framework sets out six principles for the law as it affects older adults, aiming to identify the goals which laws, policies and practices should achieve:
- Respect for Dignity and Worth – recognize the inherent, equal and inalienable worth of every individual, including the right to be valued, respected and considered and to have an individual’s contributions and needs recognized.
- Promotion of Independence and Autonomy – recognize the importance of the ability to make choices and to ensure that the appropriate supports are put in place for older adults.
- Enhancement of Participation and Inclusion – recognize the importance of older adults to be actively engaged and integrated in one’s community and be consulted on issues that affect them.
- Recognition of the Importance of Security – recognize the importance of physical, psychological, financial and social security and the right to access basic supports in terms of health, legal and social services.
- Recognition of Diversity and Individuality – recognize that older adults are individuals first and that their needs and circumstances may be affected by a wide range of factors such as discrimination or exclusion based on gender, racialization, Aboriginal immigration or citizenship status, sexual orientation, creed, geographic location, place of residence or other aspects of their identity.
- Understanding Membership in the Broader Community – recognize that older adults are part of a broader community in which they have rights and obligations and that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote mutual cooperation and understanding between generations so that society is inclusive for all ages.
Public consultations on the Framework run until November 18, 2011 and the sector remains hopeful that this Framework and continued process will improve the practical impact of the laws, policies and practices of older adults in Ontario.
Until next time